“If I could do it, so can you.”  These are the words that often jet out of the mouth of a telepathic leader.  I am a telepathic leader.  I write this because I’ve discovered, somewhat, that telepathy in leadership doesn’t quite work.

As an entrepreneur I’m used to googling things and finding answers for myself.  I’m not sure whether this habit is innate in people like me, or if it something I’ve developed over the lonely times of entrepreneurship.  Either way, most of the things I know are either self-taught through reading, research, experimenting or listening to what people are not saying.  And I expect everyone I work with to at least try to find answers for themselves before they call for help (from me).

I am a fisher.  Be that as it may, I find that many people are simply content with the idea of having a plate of fish slapped on their dinner table; they don’t know or care to know how it got there.  This gnaws at my patience vigorously but the reality is that most people out there are like that.  Many people occupy jobs they are not passionate about.  How then can one go out of their way to find out more about something they have very little interest in?

As an entrepreneur I think a lot.  Sometimes I catch myself loitering on the boundaries of insanity – thinking about thinking.  But through that process I’ve realised recipe books are there for two reasons.  Firstly to (hopefully) produce the same results over and over again, and secondly to make sure that people do as little thinking as possible while doing it.

This is the solution for the telepathic leader.  Rather than painfully expecting people to think about thinking and expect them to show initiative and apply creative problem solving techniques, just design processes and appoint a policeman (a manager) to make sure they follow them.

I find that processes do two things.  They make known your expectations and results, which puts people at ease because they know where they stand.  Secondly they put the business on course to becoming an engine that delivers the same results irrespective of people or people’s issues.

From these processes, one can derive a lot more benefits.  Firstly one can start looking at competitors’ processes to find areas of strength or weakness.  Secondly, one can derive an effective performance measurement program that is based on key steps that one must follow; key performance indicators.  From this, developing incentive schemes to keep the team motivated becomes a lot easier because everyone knows what is expected of them and those expectations can be measured.

The common mistake with us telepathic leaders (or rainmakers as others may say) is that while learning to do everything, we disregard the fact that a day only has a limited amount of time so either way one cannot do everything anyway!

People are important.  Creating an environment where people know exactly what to do and what is expected of them is even more important.  Expecting people to be as enthusiastic as you about your vision is noble but sometimes unrealistic because people have their own lives too.

Telepathic leadership just complicates matters even more. I say yes to business processes.

 

Vusi Sindane